Diwali, the “festival of lights” was celebrated over this weekend by Hindu families all around the world.


Diwali is a festival in honour of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of the god Lord Vishnu, as it marks the day he returned from his fourteen-year exile, having just battled and defeated the demon king Raavanaa. Families celebrate with fireworks, lamps, and lots of traditional sweets.


Diwali is definitely a community festival. Families and neighbours celebrate together, and around this time children are constantly carrying sweets either from or for friends and relatives. It brings people together and creates a sense of togetherness in Hindu communities. At Newstead Wood School, there was no community spirit lost this weekend. Despite it still being half term, the school’s PTA managed to put together Dazzling Diwali – the first ever Diwali party at the school which saw an impressive turnout of around one hundred and fifty people.


Dazzling Diwali featured entertainment from students and parents alike. The majority of this entertainment came in the form of students’ dances, which varied in style from Bollywood to fusions of traditional and cinematic dance. This was followed by dinner – Indian food items such as vegetable biriyani, and the sweet Gulab jamun for desert. “It was really good” said Mrs Venkat, a parent of a student at the school. There was also a fashion show, in which some parents displayed traditional as well as modern styles of clothing from different regions of India during different time periods. However, the real showpiece of the night was the Ramlila in which a group of students acted out the story of the Ramayana – the story of Lord Rama’s battle with King Raavanaa, showing the story of Diwali in a creative visual form.


Overall, the night was a huge success, and people went home having had a great evening with all their friends.  The event was run by the PTA to raise money for the school and this aim was certainly achieved. We hope to see more Diwali parties and the like at Newstead Wood School in the future. Happy Diwali!

by Sanga Arivanantham